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It goes without saying that when you go to a different destination, there are some things that are going to be different than what you are used to. Although some of the differences are not that outstanding and you can easily adapt to them, others might need you to be aware of them in advance before your arrival at your destination.
In this article, you’ll learn about some things to keep in mind before travelling to the Philippines.
1. Have sunblock and face towel
The Philippines can be extremely hot and humid. However, there are places in Philippines that are known to be colder that most parts of the Philippines, like Baguio City and Tagaytay. Therefore, unless you are going to these colder places, you will need to have sunblock and face towel. You wouldn’t want to be dripping with sweat and looking fifty shades darker when you are going about enjoying your visit and taking selfies, would you?
2. Get transport apps
If you are planning to spend some time in Metropolitan Manila, then you probably need to equip yourself with the transport apps. This city is extremely busy and can be chaotic at times especially for first time visitors. The three apps that many residents have on their phones are; Uber, GrabCar and Waze.
Philippines use two official languages; English and Filipino. This makes the country very friendly to tourists as long as the tourist knows English. Moreover, regardless of their educational level, most Filipinos know English even if it means uttering simple English words.
4. Christmas comes early
If you are looking for the country to visit during the festive season, then Philippines is the country for you. Besides the ‘Holy Week’, Christmas is another holiday that Filipinos love and to prove this, the Christmas celebrations usually begin in September and end in January. Can you imagine this? Simply amazing.
5. Beautiful islands
Philippines is home to more than 7000 islands. One of these islands is Boracay; this is where you will find the best party atmosphere and nightlife. If you love swimming with whalesharks, then Bohol is the island for you. The capital city, Manila, is found in Luzon, the biggest island.
6. Cash is the order of the day
While in the Philippines, do not expect to pay for anything using your credit card. Most hostels and tours only accept cash therefore make sure that you always have some cash with you. The ATMs are also not found in some towns.
7. Tipping is common
Tipping is a common practice in the Philippines because the services are cheap. Leaving a 10-15% of your final bill as the tip is the norm especially if the service charge is not included. This rule of tipping applies at salons, spas and taxi service. If in doubt, tip as per service satisfaction.
8. Be friendly
The Filipinos have a tendency to be timid and conservative people despite being kind and happy. This is especially the case for Filipinos from smaller provinces. Therefore, as you are conversing with the locals remember to be less assertive and be more pleasant.
9. Beware of currency changers
Money changers are one of the scams that you need to be on the lookout for. In the Philippines, the money changers are known to be good at negotiating and trying to rob visitors who are naïve. However, you should not be terrified of them, rather, you only need to be aware of them and be prepared by changing your money at a reputable place, for instance, through your hotel.
10. Security everywhere
In some places such as Boracay, you will find security personnel almost everywhere. There are numerous local police, hired security and tourist police who can be found at the beach, outside restaurants and cafes. Nevertheless, you should not fear them as they are so polite and will assist you if you approach them for any kind of help.
If you are planning to visit the Philippines then prepare yourself to have a great time! If this is your first visit to the Philippines, then you will find the information above to be quite useful. Hopefully, this information will enlighten you so you won’t have to learn the hard way.